Heel spurs are a common reason for people to visit their podiatrist serving Scottsdale. These small calcium deposits can cause major pain, but treatments are available to relieve your symptoms. Heel
spurs grow along the plantar fascia and create a sensation similar to that of a pebble being stuck in your shoe. Your podiatrist will use a physical exam plus X-rays to determine if a heel spur is
the cause of your foot pain before beginning treatment. If you do have a heel spur, your podiatrist may recommend a cortisone injection to ease inflammation. Other techniques, such as stretching the
calf muscles, treating the heel with ice, and wearing a custom orthotic may also provide relief from the discomfort of a heel spur.
Heel spurs form in some patients who have plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tar fash-ee-I-tis), and tend to occur in patients who have had the problem for a prolonged period of time. While about 70 percent of
patients with plantar fasciitis have a heel spur, X-rays also show about 50 percent of patients with no symptoms of plantar fasciitis also have a heel spur.
Heel spurs result in a jabbing or aching sensation on or under the heel bone. The pain is often worst when you first arise in the morning and get to your feet. You may also experience pain when
standing up after prolonged periods of sitting, such as work sessions at a desk or car rides. The discomfort may lessen after you spend several minutes walking, only to return later. Heel spurs can
cause intermittent or chronic pain.
Diagnosis is made using a few different technologies. X-rays are often used first to ensure there is no fracture or tumor in the region. Then ultrasound is used to check the fascia itself to make
sure there is no tear and check the level of scar tissue and damage. Neurosensory testing, a non-painful nerve test, can be used to make sure there is not a local nerve problem if the pain is thought
to be nerve related. It is important to remember that one can have a very large heel spur and no plantar fasciitis issues or pain at all, or one can have a great deal of pain and virtually no spur at
Non Surgical Treatment
Many treatment options exist, and good results are often observed. Generally, a calcaneal spur develops when proper care is not given to the foot and heels. It is often seen as a repetitive stress
injury, and thus lifestyle modification is typically the basic course of management strategies. To alleviate heel spur pain, a person should begin doing foot and calf workouts. Strong muscles in the
calves and lower legs will help take the stress off the bone and thus help cure or prevent heel spurs. Icing the area is an effective way to get immediate pain relief.
Approximately 2% of people with painful heel spurs need surgery, meaning that 98 out of 100 people do well with the non-surgical treatments previously described. However, these treatments can
sometimes be rather long and drawn out, and may become considerably expensive. Surgery should be considered when conservative treatment is unable to control and prevent the pain. If the pain goes
away for a while, and continues to come back off and on, despite conservative treatments, surgery should be considered. If the pain really never goes away, but reaches a plateau, beyond which it does
not improve despite conservative treatments, surgery should be considered. If the pain requires three or more injections of "cortisone" into the heel within a twelve month period, surgery should be